Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity - all you need to know about Friday's Super League derby
Both teams will be desperate for a win when Leeds Rhinos take on Wakefield Trinity at Emerald Headingley on Friday.
In the final Betfred Super League fixture played behind closed doors, Rhinos are aiming to an a five-game losing run against a Trinity side who have suffered eight successive defeats.
Here's all the essential information ahead of the big match.
Fixture: Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity.
At: Emerald Headingley.
On: Friday, May 14
Coverage: Sky Sports Arena, Sky Sports Youtube channel, Our League for season ticket holders.
Tickets: No admission for fans - the game will be played behind closed doors.
Trinity coach: Lifelong Wakefield fan Chris Chester, 42, replaced Brian Smith as team boss in 2016. A former Hull KR player and coach, Chester also played for Halifax, Wigan and Hull.
Trinity star man: Despite Wakefield’s team form, Joe Westerman, who is set to rejoin his first club Castleford Tigers next season, has made an outstanding start to the season and is a major threat as a mobile, ball-handling loose-forward.
Key battle: Import Mason Lino is the only specialist half-back in Trinity’s 21-man squad and crucial to their hopes of unlocking Rhinos’ defence. He will be opposite Luke Gale whose return will give Leeds some much-needed direction close to Wakefield’s line.
Trinity’s Form: Wakefield are on a run of eight successive defeats since beating Rhinos at St Helens last October, two of those losses coming against Leeds. They will take heart from competitive performances in their two most recent games, against Hull and Catalans Dragons.
Previous meeting: March 27, 2021. Betfred Super League round one (at Headingley). Trinity 22 (Tries Johnstone 2, Senior, Ashurst. Goals Lino 3), Rhinos 28 (Tries L Briscoe, A Sutcliffe, Dwyer, Myler, Broadbent. Goals Martin 4). Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.
Last five results (most recent first): Rhinos LLLLL, Trinity LLLLL.
Previous game: Huddersfield Giants 14, Rhinos 13, on May 2; Trinity 18, Catalans Dragons 38, on April 30.
Milestones: Rhinos’ Alex Mellor needs one appearance to reach 150 for his career (19 for Leeds, 79 for Huddersfield Giants, 51 for Bradford Bulls). Teammate Mikolaj Oledzki’s next game will be the 100th of his career (72 for Leeds, five for Featherstone Rovers on dual-registration, 20 for Bradford Bulls on loan, two for England Knights). Trinity’s Jay Pitts needs one appearance to reach 150 in Super League (33 for Wakefield Trinity, 27 for London Broncos, 16 for Bradford Bulls, 48 for Hull, 25 for Rhinos). Teammate Joe Westerman needs two tries to reach 100 for his career (four for Wakefield, 39 for Hull, 12 for Warrington Wolves, 43 for Castleford Tigers).
Connections: Rhinos coach Richard Agar was in charge of Trinity from 2012-2014. Leeds’ Luke Briscoe played two games for Wakefield on loan in 2014. Trinity assistant-coach Willie Poching had a similar role at Leeds after playing for both clubs. Forward Jay Pitts is an ex-Rhinos player.
Super League head to head: Leeds won 41, Wakefield won 11, one draw. Wakefield highest score: 44-28 (away, 2005, widest margin: 38-6 home 2017); Leeds highest score: 70-6 (away 2005, also widest margin).
Rhinos injuries: Jack Walker (foot), Harry Newman (broken leg), Rob Lui (quad muscle), Cameron Smith (hamstring), Tom Holroyd (fractured leg), Alex Sutcliffe (knee), Callum McLelland (groin).
Rhinos suspensions: Zane Tetevano (fourth of four-game ban), Richie Myler (second of two-game ban).
Team news: Rhinos’ Luke Gale (thumb) and Kyle Eastmond (hamstring) are available after injury and Corey Hall and Morgan Gannon are also in contention, along with the 17 who lost to Huddersfield Giants two weeks ago. Matty Ashurst (ankle) returns for Trinity, but they have lost Bill Tupou from the side beaten by Catalans last time out. Innes Senior, Matty Crowther, Joe Arundel and Brad Walker are also in contention.
Leeds Rhinos: from T Briscoe, Hurrell, Handley, Gale, Oledzki, Leeming, Prior, Mellor, Martin, Dwyer, L Sutcliffe, Vuniyayawa, Thompson, Walters, L Briscoe, Donaldson, O’Connor, Broadbent, Hall, Gannon, Eastmond.
Wakefield Trinity: from Jowitt, Lyne, Kay, Lino, Fifita, K Wood, Arona, Ashurst, Tanginoa, Westerman, Pitts, Battye, Batchelor, Green, Senior, Crowther, Arundel, B Walker, Kershaw, Ashall-Bott, Eaves.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham). First time in charge of a Rhinos game this season.
Next game: Rhinos v Hull, Trinity v Hull KR. Both Sunday, May 23, in Super League.
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